Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Joy in Sucking it Up

I've been in a lot of counseling meetings lately, and I feel like the constant theme is the word "Discipline". That word doesn't sound very happy, escpecially when you tell it to teenagers and young adults. That word (used to) say to me... forget what you want, stop being selfish, it's not the right time, you'll have to wait, etc. etc and more seemingly depressing statements.... not fun at all.

But, then I started thinking about the discipline I have had to cultivate in my own life. It has looked like: Finishing school... when I still had years left, Waiting on God's timing (oh my, that has happened in absolutely every area of my life!), Fasting, Dieting,  Exercising... even when I don't want to, and countless other unmentionable situations.

And then I started to think-- What if I had gotten what I wanted right when I asked for it? Would it have meant as much to me? What if I got my diploma in my 1st semester? I don't think I would have appreciated it, or learned nearly enough. What if God sent revival the first time I prayed? I can't imagine the shallowness of my walk with Him had it been that way. What if I was healed of sickness when I first asked? The knowledge I have now and the Joy of the anticipated answer would never have meant that much to me. What if I was skinny no matter what i ate? Well, that would be just awesome.... but really, I have learned how to take care of my body and see the fun in healthy food.

God has been giving me such revelation in the joy of waiting on the thing He has promised-- that discipline you must learn while you press on. It's like when Jacob wanted Rachel as his wife so badly, but he had to go through the season with Leah. As John Kilpatrick said in his sermon a few months ago at church, Rachel was his dream, but Leah was the season that he loved. He loved that season so much he chose to be buried by Leah when he died, not Rachel.

There is just something about that season of waiting. It creates a love inside of you for the deepness and closeness of God while you are learning the discipline to wait. I am so grateful for the things He has made me wait on. (I'm definitelty not as grateful as I should be while I'm waiting) but when the promise comes to pass, it's like the coldest cup of water after months in the desert. Such joy comes to those who seek the discipline to wait for God's best. Consider it a way God is showing you how precious that thing is that he is bringing to you in His timing. The longer you hold out, the longer you press on, pushing aside plan B and disciplining yourself for the promise, the more joyful and precious that promise will be-- Like a hidden treasure with unsurpassing value.

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